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New Report Offers Strategies for Middle Schools to Address Learning Loss in Math with Tailored Acceleration

July 9, 2020 New Classrooms

New Classrooms encourages schools to consider more personalized approaches to ‘Solving The Iceberg Problem’ in order to get students back on track.

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, July 9, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — New Classrooms Innovation Partners today published a new report outlining how education leaders and teachers can address significant student learning loss in middle-school math. The report recommends an approach called tailored acceleration which focuses on meeting students from where they are and then accelerating their learning to college and career readiness over a period of one or more years.

The publication, Solving The Iceberg Problem: Addressing Learning Loss in Middle School Math through Tailored Acceleration, comes as schools grapple with difficult choices about how to address profound learning losses, both COVID and pre-COVID-related. Many of the strategies historically employed have inherently come with problematic tradeoffs. Placing students in remedial coursework can provide little opportunity for them to truly catch up while promoting students to subsequent grades without their having the foundational knowledge for more advanced coursework can cause learning gaps to accumulate. Calls for teachers to do both—to teach current grade-level materials and the relevant pre-grade learning gaps—readily fall under the weight of sheer impracticality given both the depth and variability of each student’s unique strengths and needs.

Solving the Iceberg Problem offers a blueprint for how middle schools can design and implement an instructional solution that truly and comprehensively addresses students’ learning loss,” said Joel Rose, CEO of New Classrooms. “We believe that every student can achieve college and career readiness, but it can’t happen without taking bold action to meet students where they are and accelerating their learning so they can get to where they need to be.”

Funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the report concentrates on specific strategies, policies, and actionable steps that can be taken to effectively implement a tailored acceleration approach. It also highlights the key programmatic choices and relevant policy considerations for schools to consider when exploring a shift toward tailored acceleration.

Solving the Iceberg Problem builds on an original publication titled The Iceberg Problem that was released in the fall of 2019. That report demonstrated how modest gaps in the learning of foundational skills year after year can mask a dramatic accumulation of learning loss over time. It argued that accountability and assessment policies played a key role in the accumulation of unfinished learning because they incentivized an exclusive instructional focus for all students on grade-level standards, even as many students still needed to master key foundational skills from prior years.


About New Classrooms Innovation Partners

Founded in 2011, New Classrooms Innovation Partners is a national nonprofit on a mission to personalize education by redesigning how a classroom works – from the use of technology, time, and physical space to the instruction and content that engages each student. The founders of New Classrooms were the leaders of an initiative within NYC public schools called School of One, which TIME named as one of the Best Inventions of the Year. New Classrooms’ first learning model, Teach to One: Math, ensures each student is learning the right math lesson, at the right time, and in the right way that best meets their strengths and needs. It is used by thousands of students in schools nationwide. To learn more about New Classrooms, visit www.newclassrooms.org.